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Indiana cleans up in first month of live casino table games

January gambling numbers show effect of live table games in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Fanfare abounded Jan. 1 when Indiana casinos began offering real dealers with live table games.

The numbers for the first month are staggering and show hundreds of millions of dollars coming into Hoosier casinos, which was expected.

The Indiana Gaming Commission tracks and regulates the casinos. According to its most recent numbers, 13 casinos have 710 live table games, and gamblers dropped or lost close to $160 million. That revenue is taxed at very high rate. But, this is a double-edged sword.

Kyle Anderson, an Indiana University Kelley School of Business economist, said, “These are people from Indiana who are spending their money at the casino, they may not be spending it at the restaurant or other entertainment venues so there is  definitely a displacement effect that is going on that may not be good for the state overall.”

Some jobs were created. The casinos hired dealers and, in some cases, added additional support staff. According to Anderson, the money to support these new positions is coming from other segments of the economy.

“Restaurants and entertainment are industries that are often hit the hardest when casinos expand and those tend to employee more people,” Anderson said.

Most of Indiana casinos sit near the state line and draw out-of-state money. The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, near Chicago, collected $43 million from live table games in January.